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An Ancient Spanish Style Of Cider Takes Root In America

The tart, funky-tasting "sidra natural" can taste a bit off to first-timers. but as America's craft hard-cider market grows, and sour beer becomes more popular, people are warming up to the drink.
Tilted Shed's "Inclinado," one of the few American impressions of Spanish-style sidra natural. Source: Alastair Bland for NPR

There is a joke among cider makers when they open a bottle and its contents taste disappointingly sour or flawed:

"We say, 'Oh yeah, this cider went bad, so we just put it into green bottles and called it Spanish,' " says cider maker Nathaniel West, owner of Reverend Nat's Hard Cider in Portland, Ore.

The joke refers to the fact that northern Spanish cider, which has been made for centuries along Spain's Atlantic coast, is characteristically tart, almost entirely flat, cloudy with sediment and a bit funky tasting — as though the fermented juice might have been filtered through a

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